Harry Dunn’s alleged killer has appeared in a UK court to face a charge of causing his death by dangerous driving – ending his family’s three-year wait for criminal proceedings to begin.
Anne Sacoolas made an appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court via video-link from the United States on Thursday as the 19-year-old’s extended family watched on from the public gallery.
The 45-year-old is accused of causing the teenage motorcyclist’s death following a collision outside a US military base in Northamptonshire in August 2019.
Sacoolas had diplomatic immunity asserted on her behalf by the US government following the collision outside RAF Croughton, and was able to leave the UK 19 days after the incident.
At the six-minute hearing, the defendant spoke only to confirm her name and date of birth as she followed proceedings next to her lawyer, Amy Jeffress.
Wearing a blue suit jacket and a spotted scarf, Sacoolas looked straight ahead throughout the hearing.
Harry’s parents Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn, alongside Harry’s twin brother Niall, arrived at court wearing either a green tie or a green scarf in memory of the teenager.
Sending the case to the Old Bailey, chief magistrate Paul Goldspring told the defendant: “I hope you followed most of that.
“The first thing I have to do is send your case to the crown court.
“I’m going to grant you unconditional bail in this case – that means there are no restrictions from the court on you.”
The chief magistrate told Sacoolas she would be required to appear in person at the Old Bailey.
He said: “That may change because there will be a joint application to allow you to attend by video-link as you have today.
“Do you understand?”
Sacoolas replied: “Yes.”
The chief magistrate told the defendant the application would be decided by the judge at the crown court.
The Dunn family told the PA news agency they would not be commenting on the case until the conclusion of criminal proceedings.
Sacoolas, whose address was not provided to the court as the chief magistrate was content with her lawyer’s address being provided instead, was granted unconditional bail to appear at the Old Bailey on October 27.